Augustine Lofthouse (George Clooney) is a lonely scientist, tormented by elements of his past, living at the Barbeau Observatory in the Artic Circle. He must do his best to prevent a group of astronauts, headed by Sully (Felicity Jones) from returning home to Earth, after a mysterious global calamity alters the course of civilisation as we know it. A visually impressive movie that had been released to Netflix this past Christmas weekend.
Director: George Clooney
Writers: Lily Brooks-Dalton
Starring: George Clooney, Caoilinn Springall, Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo
Whenever a new Sci-Fi movie is ready to hit our screens, it doesn’t take too much persuading for me to sit and give it my full attention – especially when space exploration is heavily focused on. Having already reviewed films such as Ad Astra (2019), Interstellar (2014), Gravity (2013), Life (2017) and The Martian (2015), I was keen to see whether The Midnight Sky was worthy of similar praise.
One aspect of the film that really stood out from the off, was the vast array of different and spectacular visuals on display. Various planets were seen and displayed along with some breath-taking snippets from the spaceship traveling through space itself. Another thing worth noting would have to be the way in which the picture managed to take the viewer on an effective emotional journey. The story, albeit a little discombobulated, did tie together nicely as the runtime wore on, and as mentioned, managed to leave you invested in many of the characters and their own personal journeys.
Something that is probably worth flagging up as a negative however, would have to be the needless flip flopping between the different people and parties involved, along with different timelines on show. I felt the flick was let down by the lack of focus on the primary characters and their situation in the Artic Circle, while focusing more on the astronauts, and their time in space, that Augustine Lofthouse was hoping to save. There was also the small problem of the filmmakers never really explaining the “mysterious global calamity” that had struck Earth, thus languishing it uninhabitable. This was, for sure, a pretty obvious flaw in an otherwise solid movie.
One thing worth noting would have to be the fact that George Clooney managed to not only direct The Midnight Sky but take center stage as the flick’s lead character too. His acting performance may not go down in history as one of the finest to hit our television sets, but it was by no means average either. Starring with him for a large majority of the movie was Caoilinn Springall, who featured prominently as the child alongside him, trapped in the Artic. Elsewhere, Felicity Jones and David Oyelowo did respectable jobs in their roles as Sully and Adewole, while Kyle Chandler, Demian Bichir and Tiffany Boone also featured in support roles and added no shame to the film.
All in all, this may not have come across as the finest release of 2020 and probably doesn’t stand up to other similar Sci-Fi releases, but it’s not the worst way to finish the year and it’s certainly not a disgrace to the Sci-Fi genre on a whole. The Midnight Sky is now streaming on Netflix.
“I’m afraid we didn’t do a very good job of looking after the place while you were away.”Augustine Lofthouse – The Midnight Sky